Sunday, January 30, 2005

Comeback Kings

When Adam Bacher, nephew of former SA Board Chief Ali Bacher, appeared for South Africa against England at Johannesburg today, he was playing an ODI after a gap of 7 years. Bacher went on to miss 183 games for South Africa during this period.
The accompanying table lists the players making a comeback after a long gap:

Gap Player Mts Seasons
9-266 W Larkins (Eng) 110 1979-80 to 1989-90
8-251 ELR Stewart (SA) 218 1993-94 to 2002-03
8-144 Faruk Ahmed (BD) 23 1990-91 to 1999
8-120 GE Bradburn (NZ) 184 1992-93 to 2000-01
7-231 RR Singh (Ind) 146 1988-89 to 1996-97
7-179 VC Drakes (WI) 153 1994-95 to 2002-03
7-8 AM de Silva (SL) 88 1985-86 to 1992-93
7-3 AM Bacher (SA) 183 1997-98 to 2004-05

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Highest totals without a fifty

Chasing West Indies’ mammoth total of 339 for 4, Pakistan managed to score 281 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs in VB Series match at Adelaide. What was intriguing with Pakistan’s effort was the fact that no batsman managed to score a fifty. Pakistan’s total is now the HIGHEST in One-day internationals not to include an individual fifty. The details:

Total For Vs Venue Date Hs Score
281-9 Pak WI Adelaide 28-01-2005 45-Youhana
265-6 Eng Zim Harare 07-10-2001 47-Ramprakash
264 Aus SL Sydney 09-01-2003 41-Bevan
261-8 Pak Ind Perth 28-01-2000 44-Anwar
257-8 NZ SA Napier 25-03-1999 44-Parore
253-9 Aus WI Sydney 07-02-2001 47*-Harvey
251-8 SL Pak Tangier 14-08-2002 42-Atapattu

Highest score against each country in ODIs

Brian Lara made a blistering 156 in the seventh match of VB Series against Pakistan at Adelaide. His innings is now the highest ever made against Pakistan in the shorter version of the game.Who held this record previously? Lara himself! He had made 153 (off 143 balls) at Sharjah in the 1993-94 Champions Trophy final.
The following table lists the highest innings played against each country.

Vs Runs Batsman For Venue Date
Aus 167* RA Smith Eng Birmingham 21-05-1993
Eng 189* IVA Richards WI Manchester 31-05-1984
NZ 186* SR Tendulkar Ind Hyderabad 08-11-1999
Pak 156 BC Lara WI Adelaide 28-01-2005
WI 173 ME Waugh Aus Melbourne 09-02-2001
Ind 194 Saeed Anwar Pak Chennai 21-05-1997
SL 183 SC Ganguly Ind Taunton 26-05-1999
Zim 175* Kapil Dev Ind T.Wells 18-06-1983
BD 153 HH Gibbs SA P'stroom 03-10-2002
SA 152* CH Gayle WI J'burg 04-02-2004

Note : The above list is confined to Test playing
countries only

Monday, January 24, 2005

Lowest totals to include a century

Michael Clarke scored an unbeaten 103 in Australia's total of 167 in the fifth match of VB Series against Pakistan on Sunday. It will be interesting to note that Australia's total is the joint fourth lowest total in ODI history to include a century.

The record in this category belongs to England's Dennis Amiss,who made an unbeaten 100 against New Zealand in side's total of 159-3 at Swansea on July 18,1973. The following table lists the lowest ODI totals to include a century:
Total (Overs) Countries  Venue         Date  

159-3 (45.3) Eng v NZ Swansea 18-07-1973 DL Amiss - 100*
164-2 (39.1) Aus v NZ Auckland 11-03-1990 DM Jones - 102*
166-0 (33.5) SL v Eng Colombo 27-03-2001 RS Kaluwitharana-102*
167-3 (44.4) Pak v NZ C'church 18-03-1992 Rameez Raja-119*
167-1 (36.2) Aus v Pak Sydney 23-01-2005 MJ Clarke - 103*

The lowest allout total to include an individual 100 is 191 by Australia v New Zealand
at Auckland on March 3,2000.DR Martyn remained unbeaten on 116 after opening the innings.No-one else could make even 25.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Is ICC justified in granting official status to Tsunami relief fund matches

ICC’s recent decision to grant official ODI status to Tsunami relief fund match has left the cricket statisticians around the world both astounded and bewildering. One fails to understand the logic behind ICC’s this ruling, which not only defies the commonsense, but is also against ICC’s own rulebook.

If you go through ICC’s regulations, you will find this in section 2 (Sub-Section B) which tells us that a match is deemed a one-day international if it meets the following qualifications:

i) All matches played in the official World Cup competition, including matches involving Associate Member countries.
ii) All matches played between the Full Member countries of ICC as part of an official tour itinerary.
iii) All matches played as part of an official tournament between Full Member countries, at an ICC-approved Associate or Affiliate Member venue.

Now the match between Asian XI and World XI does not fall into any of these categories. So how could it be deemed as an official one-day international ?

Well, you can trust them to come-up with such silly things every now and again. In fact, this is not the first time that ICC has invited the wrath of cricket statisticians. In June last year, we were told that a match is started with the toss and not as described in Laws of Cricket. There was also a lot of resentment among the statisticians about this decision (read ), however this latest ruling proved the last straw on camel’s back and statisticians revolted.

Bill Frindall- the topmost cricket statistician in the world- had this to say about ICC’s decision:

“This statement beggars belief. Limited-Overs International status and Records cover matches between national teams, not hot-potch multi-national games with no significance beyond fund raising. In no sense should the WCTA game qualify for inclusion. The ICC, for whom I was then statistician, dealt with this matter following the Rest of the World v England series in 1970, when we ruled that those five matches would not count in the official Test match records. And those games featured one international side.

This ruling, which should be reversed immediately, is as bizarre as your recent one declaring that a match starts when the toss is made - a monstrous flouting of the Laws of Cricket. It will not have my support, and performances in Monday's match will NOT be included in any records published under my name.”

Charlie Watt, Australia’s leading statistician, too refused to take this match in to consideration as an ODI. Many others have also expressed their anger against this decision. There are some, however, who think differently. Vic Isaacs, the founder of now defunct LOCIG and co-author of Wisden Book of Limited Overs Internationals has this to say:

“The ICC in their wisdom (if that is the correct word), have made a decision.No individual or body of statistician(s) should therefore go against this, despite their opinions.I believe the ACS & H as a body should contact ICC with their opinions, in the meantime I will include (sadly) the disputed matches until I hear differently”.

It is clear that different versions of cricket statistics will now be seen at different places creating a lot of confusion. It is only ICC who has to take responsibility for this confusion.

For many years ICC was not the slightest bit interested in the status of ODIs, and it was left to organisations such as the now defunct LOCIG, and the Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians, England (ACS) to agree mutually to their status. However with the modernisation of the game, and because of commercial pressure, ICC now decide on the status. There is nothing one can have any objection on this. It is ICC’s prerogative being game’s governing body.

What one fails to understand is why ICC approaches important issues like this in such a non-professional manner. What stops them from let having a statistical committee, comprising of eminent statisticians, handle such things. It is baffling that ICC does not have a full time statistician on its payroll despite the fact that statistics are an integral part of the modern-day cricket. ICC could have even consulted ACS,which is the largest association of cricket statisticians world over with a membership strength of about 1,000, before deciding to grant official status to these matches. That they didn’t show any such intention is an indication of the fact how much importance they give to cricket statistics and its custodians.

In principle statisticians are bound by ICC decisions, but it is imperative that the ICC debates the issue with them before making the decision. If they do not do this, ICC cannot be too surprised if statisticians choose to ignore them.

ACS is now holding a meeting towards the end of this month to discuss this matter in full and take a decision. All member statisticians will follow the decisions taken in this meeting and there is a possibility that ACS committee could decide against ICC’s ruling. It may be recalled that ICC,in 1992, ruled that all matches played in South Africa between 1960-61 (when South Africa left the Commonwealth) and 1991-92 (when they were readmitted to the ICC) were not first class. All statisticians recognized this as a polically motivated and illogical ruling and ignored it. If this happens this time, it will be like a slap on ICC’s face and they cannot complain about it because they themselves chose this treatment.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Afridi’s assault

Shahid Afridi played gem of an innings in the second match of VB Series against Australia, scoring 56 off just 26 balls. The highlights of Afridi’s innings was two successive sixes off Glenn McGrath. Don’t think any other batsman has dared to treat McGrath in this fashion (though Afridi’s teammate Abdur Razzaq once hit McGrath for five successive fours). During the course of his innings, Afridi reached his fifty off only 24 balls (of course with a six!), which is the second fastest fifty against Australia after New Zealander Lance Cairns’ 21-ball fifty way back in 1982-83. Afridi’s strike rate of 215.38 is also the HIGHEST by any player against Australia in an innings of 50 or more.

Fastest fifties against Australia
Bls Batsman For Venue Date
21 BL Cairns (52) NZ Melbourne 13-02-1983
24 S.Afridi (56*) Pak Hobart 16-01-2005
25 A Blignaut (54) Zim Bulawayo 24-02-2003
26 Kapil Dev (58) Ind Rajkot 07-10-1986
30 SR Tendulkar (62) Ind Visakhapatnam 03-04-2001

Best Strike-rates against Australia
(Min.Qualifiication : 50 runs)
SR Batsman Rns Bls For Venue Date
215.38 S.Afridi 56* 26 Pak Hobart 16-01-2005
208.00 BL Cairns 52 25 NZ Melbourne13-02-1983
192.86 AM Blignaut 54 28 Zim Bulawayo 24-02-2003
187.10 Kapil Dev 58 31 Ind Rajkot 07-10-1986
174.36 IT Botham 68 39 Eng Perth 01-01-1987
164.10 MA Holding 64 39 WI Perth 05-02-1984
163.16 SR Tendulkar62 38 Ind V'patnam 03-04-2001
151.43 MA Holding 53* 35 WI Perth 04-01-1987
150.00 IVA Richards60* 40 WI Sydney 18-01-1989

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Gilchrist sets a new record

Adam Gilchrist set a new world record of most centuries by a keeper in Test cricket by scoring a blistering 113 in the Sydney Test against Pakistan. The century number 13 took Gilchrist past Zimbabwean Andy Flower, who the tally of Gilchrist also completed his 4,000 runs in Test cricket to become fifth wicket-keeper to perform this feat. Now only Alec Stewart (4,540 runs in 82 Tests), Andy Flower (4,404 in 55),England’s Alan Knott (4,389 in 95) and Australia’s Ian Healy (4,356 in 119) have more career runs than Gilchrist as a keeper.

The accompanying table lists the leading Test wicket-keepers in terms of centuries scored:

100s Keeper T I NO Runs Hs Ave
13 AC Gilchrist(Aus) 65 94 16 4109 204* 52.67
12 A Flower(Zim) 55 100 18 4404 232* 53.71
8 LEG Ames(Eng) 44 67 12 2387 149 43.40
6 AJ Stewart(Eng) 82 145 15 4540 173 34.92
5 PJL Dujon(WI) 79 111 11 3146 139 31.46
5 APE Knott(Eng) 95 149 15 4389 135 32.75
5 KC Sangakkara(SL) 31 52 3 2037 230 41.57
4 MV Boucher(SA) 76 103 13 2782 125 30.91
4 IA Healy(Aus) 119 182 23 4356 161* 27.40
4 Moin Khan(Pak) 66 98 8 2581 137 28.68
4 JHB Waite(SA) 49 84 7 2336 134 30.34